Above the tree line, podocarpus and huge bamboo forests cover the mountain slopes. Higher still is open moorland with giant heather, everlasting flowers, giant lobelia and groundsel near the summit. The climate is moist with an annual rainfall of over 1270mm. Mount Elgon itself is an eroded volcano and its peak is a basalt column, called Koitobos, which is 13,852 ft(4,155m) above sea level.
The mountainous park has many cliffs, caves, waterfalls, gorges, hot springs and, of course, some amazing mountain peaks for visitors to enjoy, in addition to the wildlife. Carry water with you to avoid dehydration, and bring a camera and binoculars for viewing the wildlife, and a spotter’s guide to identify the animals and birds.
Attractions to Mount Elgon National Park
The wild and remote location of this national park offers excellent viewing of African animals found in Kenya. There are over 400 elephants plus buffalo, leopards, the colobus and blue monkeys (a protected species), hogs, waterbucks and various species of antelope. They can be viewed from a 4×4 wheel drive truck and the many hiking trails which wind around the park. There are also three nature trails that lead to both the caves and Elephant Bluff. You will also find breathtaking views of the park from Endebass Bluff.
Mountain climbing or trekking is another attraction in Mount Elgon National Park. For those who want to combine their safari with a visit to the peak of Mount Elgon, which sits at 4,155 meters above sea level, climbing can be accomplished in two to three hours depending on one’s pace.
The park is also home to at least 240 different species of birds, including the cinnamon-chested bee-eater, Hartlaub’s turaco and redheaded parrot.